Skilled Migration

According to our National Economic Action Council (NEAC), we are losing too many Malaysians as our skilled workforce migrates out of the country and we are unable to attract nor retain our skilled labour. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

Various programmes to attract skilled talent have been introduced in the past but they have achieved very little in concrete terms. The result is a shortage of dynamic talent needed to push Malaysia into higher value added activities.

That is not the only problem – trying to attract skilled talent. Don’t they know that there are plenty of skilled talent within the country who are forced to leave because of idiotic policies put in place to stifle their growth. It’s not just the policies but also the people put in charge of organisations are usually not that skilled and too kiasi to try to do the right thing.

I personally know several PhDs in various technical fields who are now working in random areas totally irrelevant to their interest or skills. I am one of them and I have tried fighting my way against the system – goodness knows I’ve tried all the way – to no avail. People in power to fix things do not even want to see me. So, I am already taking measures to fix the problem myself – before I end up rotting and dying in service to my nation.

Constraints include cumbersome immigration and incentive policies which discourage recruitment of foreign expertise along with restrictive practices of professional associations which restrict foreigners from working in Malaysia, it says.

I think I know one such professional association, which practices protectionism for its own community. Personally, I think that protectionism is dumb. You only end up sand-boxing yourself to your own However, this is a smaller problem than it is trying to retain our own people. You see, if we are unable to retain our own talent, they will leave and bring all their bitterness and anger with them.

Who do you think foreign talents will speak to before deciding to immigrate into our country – their Malaysian colleagues and friends who have left the country. Obviously, our talent who have left in a cloud of darkness would not paint a pretty picture of our country’s work environment.

Personally, my frustrations have come to a head and I just need to vent. I have already come up with my own solution to my own problems. I fully intend to do something about it and I just hope that things will ultimately turn out alright, even if I have to bludgeon a few heads along the way.

I am who I am.

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Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

One thought on “Skilled Migration”

  1. so true! the policies in place show a gross mismatch of talent and aptitude with the work that is given.

    if you’re lucky, you get the breaks. else, sorry la. you just got to suffer until the time comes. at least you get a paycheque at the end of the month!

    retention of talent? it starts with plain old recognition of talent in the first place …

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